Chocolate and children, the age-old debate

Remember when we were kids and our parents and grandparents seemed to conspire against chocolate? “Don’t eat chocolate, you’ll get fat!”, or “It’s not good for you, eat broccoli instead!”, and we just could not understand why they had this apparent hatred for sweets.

In all fairness, it is part of being a parent. Making sure that your kid is well fed and properly grown is your number 1 priority, and the vast majority of parents go overboard with this. So much so that they start speculating, without ever bothering to talk to a doctor about it.

Now we’re all grown up, and we’re having our own kids. So is it a good idea to do what our parents did? Or should we change the way we look at chocolate as being our kid’s number one health problem?

Our bodies tend to tell us what is good for us and what is not, and on one hand the parents were right. Taken in excessive quantities, chocolate can really damage your growth and cause a lot of problems. Indigestions, ulcers and cists to name a few, and the treatments are both dangerous and painful.

However, this happens if big quantities are involved, and to be honest, there are very few records of children that have actually managed to have these serious problems as a result of chocolate consumption.

So the parents had all the good intentions in the world, but they were wrong. Scientists have discovered that chocolate, if taken in moderation, has some extraordinary effects over the human body, especially when it’s in the growing phase.

I’m not talking about chocolate bars, but dark chocolate which has a high ratio of cocoa. First of all, even though it is a sweet (and semi-bitter) treat, it helps regulate the blood sugar levels, thus helping to prevent diabetes.

Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that Chocolate is made with milk, and the calcium from both the milk and the raw chocolate essence helps the bones strengthen and grow.

Chocolate has another effect, but this time in the brain. It causes it to relax, thus making the child more focused and less distracted, increasing memory and cognitive abilities.

And while it’s true that it can do some serious damage if taken in large quantities, if taken in moderation, it can help prevent a lot of gastric problems, and a lot of indigestions are being treated with chocolate as a “home remedy”.

Another great thing about chocolate, not even in adults but also in kids, is that it makes the body release endorphins. These are a kind of hormone which induces a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction, while relieving pain and helping the body heal if injuries are involved. When this happens in kids, because of the fact that they are still in development, they actually manage to become more and more tolerant of pain.

Chocolate also helps the skin, especially during that troublesome puberty period. Zits and hormonal bursts, which can greatly affect a lot of your kid’s social aspects are common, and no zit cream or exercise program can even compete with the power of chocolate.

As I’ve said earlier, chocolate has the power to calm a person down, and because of the substances that form it, chocolate can also help get rid of that pesky acne problem.

Another thing that teens struggle with is depression. Chocolate can deal with that as well, because it causes the chemicals in the brain to balance out, thus taking the person out of the depressive state that he or she might be in.

By now we have established that there are a lot of benefits to chocolate, but there are also a few downsides that we should look out for. First of all, it is a drug. The human body recognizes the benefits and sensations delivered by this tasty treat, and keeps asking for more.

The withdrawal from chocolate might not be as violent and as terrifying as from other drugs, but it can put a lot of stress on the body, so caution is the word of the day.

Besides the obvious obesity effect, and the constantly sticky fingers, chocolate has some nasty side effects if consumed in large quantities regularly for a number of years.

It can cause the immune system to crash thus triggering allergic reactions and even imbalance the blood sugar levels causing diabetes. Not to mention the fact that it might power you up for about 1 hour, but tire you out for the rest of the day, and even cause you to experience nausea if consumed in large quantities.

In conclusion, if it involves senseless consumption of great quantities for a long period of time, the parents are right and chocolate is bad for you. However, if it is for short periods of time, and in very small quantities, then the kids are in a winning

Rachel Quinlan is the owner of Baby Vegas an online store specializing in children’s toys and collectible goods with, a focus on educational toys. As a mother she understands the pressures of parenthood and the importance of bringing up our children to the best of our ability.

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